Tried & Tested

Hotel check: The Fullerton Hotel Singapore

31 May 2008 by Mark Caswell

What’s it like? This grand property, originally designed to house offices, was built in 1928 in a neo-classical style and was home to the Singapore Club, the Chamber of Commerce and the General Post Office Building until 1996. It opened as a hotel in 2001 after a S$400 million (£182 million) makeover.

It has 400 rooms including 21 suites over seven floors. Once past the lobby, the modern design of the interior of the hotel belies the age of the building, with sleek corridors and rooms that feature stylish, contemporary décor. The front desk is located to the rear of the lobby, although if you are a Straits Club guest, check-in takes place privately. I was shown to my bedroom quickly and my bag arrived within five minutes. 

Where is it? In the Central Business District, 25 minute’s drive from Singapore Changi airport. It also sits on the edge of the arts district with the Victoria theatre and concert hall and Boat Quay on one side (great for nightlife), and Marina Bay on the other. The Raffles Place Mass Rapid Transport station is just around the corner.

Room Facilities There are ten categories of room ranging from Post Master rooms to the Presidential suite – I was staying in a Quay room (two up from a Post Master), the most popular choice. It was large and fitted with a mixture of modern and classical furniture.

There was a flatscreen TV with a DVD player, a minibar and tea and coffee-making facilities, as well as also two comfortable armchairs, a coffee table and a desk with power points at skirting board level. However, the workdesk was a little small and the chair next to it rather low, making it rather uncomfortable to work for a long time on a laptop.

Internet access and video and games-on-demand, were also available in the rooms. In the wardrobe there was a safe, a power point and an iron/ironing board. The huge bathroom, which had light wood fittings and cream marble, came with a bath and a separate spacious shower with toiletries by Bulgari.

Restaurants and bars There are five restaurants and bars including the San Marco at the Lighthouse, which is a 50-seat Italian fine-dining eatery, situated in the lighthouse on the roof of the building that was functional until 1978. As you can imagine, it also has great views and also boasts two small dining rooms.

Town Restaurant (open 6.30am-22.30pm) serves varied international cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you want to eat outside, there is a terrace overlooking the river. I ate breakfast here and the selection of food was outstanding.

Post Bar at the Fullerton Hotel Singapore is a lively meeting place serving an array of cocktails and canapés and has an outdoor area as well as private side room. The Courtyard in the lobby atrium is ideal for a quick informal rendezvous or snack. On Thursdays to Saturdays from 8pm-11pm there is a chocolate buffet, while at lunchtime there is a choice of Japanese and Indian curry buffets.

Jade, open 11.30am-2.30pm for lunch and 6.30pm-10.30pm for dinner, is a fine-dining Chinese restaurant. (When I ate there, the food was superb. The trio of prawns – especially the wasabi prawn – were particularly memorable.) If you want to hold a function, there is a private room and some semi-private dining areas.

Business and meeting facilities The Straights Club is available to residents of all suites or for a supplementary fee for guests staying in lower category rooms. The fourth-floor club offers benefits such as private check-in, free local calls, use of internet in the lounge, DVD players and DVDs on request, plus two hours meeting room hire, clothes pressing, free champagne breakfasts, refreshments during the day and evening canapés in the lounge.

Each bedroom has three phone lines and guests can have a PC, printer, scanner or any other required gadgets brought to their room. Alternatively, there is a 24-hour Financial Centre, a full-service business office with high-speed internet access.

There are nine function venues ranging from boardrooms for ten people up to a ballroom with a capacity of up to 600 for a reception. These are accessed from the lobby via a stylish, sweeping staircase with a water feature in the middle and a black marble fishpond at the bottom.

Leisure facilities There is a modern and well-equipped fitness centre on floor 1M open 24 hours a day as well as the Asian spa next door (open 10am-11pm). On the second floor is a 25-metre outdoor infinity pool overlooking the river. (It’s open from 6am to 11pm). If you want to treat yourself, rent one of the rooms with its own terrace so you can access the pool directly.

Price Internet rates for a midweek stay in May started from S$388 (£176) a night for a Courtyard room.

Verdict An elegant hotel with first class service conveniently located for both business and leisure. 

Contact The Fullerton, 1 Fullerton Square, Singapore; tel +65 6733 8388; fullertonhotel.com

Julian Gregory

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